Dear Readers, it’s been a while, but I am back! This weekend we are having our Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour. More information on that at my other blog site. (Click the link).
In addition to this, I have a few pieces at the Tillsonburg Station Arts Centre as part of the Oxford Studio Preview Exhibit until December 3rd.
Also, I am taking part in the Oxford Creates online show from now until December 31st!
It feels good to be involved in art shows again and I am hopeful the inspiration and the more open doors will continue.
One researcher takes this finding into account when developing retinal implants that restore vision
— Read on www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/fractal-patterns-nature-and-art-are-aesthetically-pleasing-and-stress-reducing-180962738/
I spend some of my spare time in discussions with a very interesting group of people who like to discuss philosophy, science, and all kinds of other things. It’s fun for me.
One of the favourite topics in this group is the concept of free will. It seems that many of the most vocal people in the group favour the idea that there isn’t any. I am not one of them! I have made my arguments for free will to them, but these arguments fall on deaf ears, most of the time. I have, for some time now, thought my experience zooming in to the deepest parts of fractals was somehow illustrative of the (in my opinion) flawed logic that is often used as “evidence” that we have no free will. I was wondering how I could bring this visually to the group and make them see the idea I was trying to convey.
Last night I realized I already have this illustration fairly handy. It’s the Key, from my series entitled “The Ball Went Over the Fence”. Some of you may remember this one from several years ago. The Key shows what part of the large fractal image I zoomed in on to make the next smaller fractal image.
Wikipedia defines Free Will in the following way: “Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.” The argument many in the group make, against the existence of free will, is that everything is caused by what went before it. Wikipedia also states that “Some conceive free will to be the capacity to make choices in which the outcome has not been determined by past events.”
My main problem with this is that while it is usually easy, from the standpoint of the outcome, to see what came before, and possibly follow a chain of causality, there is no reason to assume that means a choice made is the only choice that could have been made, given all previous conditions. We can see into the past just fine. The future, however, is indeterminate.
So, looking at the Key, shown here, you can see a white outlined square in each square image of the key (click on the image to make it bigger, if that helps). From each outlined square, you can follow the white angled lines to the image found at that location if you were able to zoom in while in the fractal software. If we start at the smallest square image (the final outcome), we can see where it came from (it’s very close to the top of the next larger image). Likewise, if we follow to the next one, we see that it came from a very tiny place in the top middle third. And if we keep going, we can see that the third image came from a recognizable portion of the second largest image. And that image came from a very tiny spot in the largest image.
This is the chain of causality – it goes from the outcome back to the origin. It would, however, be impossible to go from the largest image to the smallest one without the Key in place to guide you. There is no chain in that direction, because it looks into the future. The outcome would never ever be the same twice. There is absolutely no logical reason why that particular tiny spot was the one chosen on the first image to zoom in on and make the second one. In a fractal, while constrained by the mathematics of that fractal, the possibilities at each level of zoom are for all practical and human purposes, infinite. I’ll grant you that maybe I would have zoomed in on an area near it, or any one of the areas where you can see the little greenish greyish balls. Just because those areas look interesting to me. But they all look interesting, and certainly from the perspective of the large image, equally so. If we look at the second largest image and are choosing where to zoom in for the third… even if you make the argument that I will almost definitely choose a square featuring a ball… that square is never going to be the same exact square. And now we get to the third image, and you can see no reason why I would have chosen to zoom in as much as I did, and in the area that I chose.
It was my free will in action, plainly and simply. I chose, unimpeded. The outcome was never a given.
I just realized today it’s been a whole year since I posted in this blog. I am sure you can guess what is mainly to blame. Yes, what with exhibitions and tours canceled, and inspiration flailing for a while, there hasn’t been a lot of activity to report. I created a few fractals early last spring, and was going to post about them right before they were supposed to be shown in April…
I’ve been keeping myself very busy in the meantime, never fear. Just not blogging!
This would have been Welcome Back to Otterville weekend in a normal year. I thought today would be a good time to let you all know I am still here, I do have art available, (see my home page), and if you wish to purchase any (for that extra special gift or any other reason), it can indeed be arranged. Just use the contact page on this website.
I may as well show you a couple of these new fractals, right?
I think these two speak to our wondering ancient minds, our need for sacred rites and for forbidden places.
One of my favourite things about opening my gallery for studio tours is the interaction with people who are seeing my fractal art for the first time. It’s definitely not the same as viewing it online, partly because of the image resolution and detail and size, and partly because of the metal and acrylic surfaces I usually print on. And for the paintings, the size and the detail provide even more of a difference from what you’ll see here on my website.
But the best part is introducing some to the entire concept of fractals. If you missed the fun of reading my blog from the very start, back in 2014, and you don’t have a way to come this weekend to see them, I am linking you back to that first post here.
I would love for you to come and visit my gallery this weekend so I can share with you the joy and wonder I feel about creating vivid reflections of nature with both paint and with mathematics.
Just come to Otterville and look for the yellow flags – we welcome you!
Today I will be setting up at South Gate Centre in Woodstock in preparation for this weekend’s Oxford Creates Art Expo, organized by Oxford Creative Connections, Inc. I will have several of my newest watercolour paintings available there, as well as a sampling of my fractal pieces. There will be many other artists, as well as authors, exhibiting at this show.
In two weeks, I will be opening my own gallery/studio doors to welcome the public for our 23rd annual studio tour here in Otterville: Welcome Back to Otterville. This will feature a much larger selection of my own work. We have a very good variety of stops this year with several new artisans! I will post again soon with more details about that.
For now, here are the details of both shows:
Oxford Creates: https://oxfordcreativeconnections.com/oxford-creates/
Welcome Back To Otterville: https://www.welcomebacktootterville.ca/
Last week I made the drive to Clinton, Ontario to drop off some of my art, and work a shift at a new store there called ‘Mama & Me, the Canadian Artisan Gift Boutique’. The business owner, Crystal, was the Grand Prize Winner of Central Huron’s Win This Space Contest, and has worked very hard to transform her vision into a reality. As she put it, only 16 gallons of paint and 400+ hours of labour later… her shop was ready to open! It’s full of handmade items displayed in unique ways mostly on re-purposed furniture, which gives it a nice, welcoming, homey feel. The address is 17 Victoria St., Clinton, ON, and it’s not far from Bayfield, Goderich, and Blyth. Open from 11 am-5 pm Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 5? pm Saturday (not sure) and closed Sundays and Mondays.
I took two fractal watercolour paintings, two fractal metal prints, two watercolour paintings from my ‘Cats of Italy’ series, and another large watercolour painting of lotus blossoms to be hung in the store. I didn’t get to hang them while there, but we decided where they were going and she has promised to send photos when they’re up! Here are most of them, waiting patiently in the area reserved for workshops:
The opening for this show was on Sunday and it continues until August 18.
OCCI stands for Oxford Creative Connections Inc., and it is a not-for-profit Arts and Culture organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Oxford County through the preservation and advancement of arts and culture.
The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre is located at
125 Centennial Lane (in Victoria Park)
P.O. Box 384, Ontario
Its hours are:
Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 10:30 – 2:00 p.m. & 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
I have one of my new fractal pieces in the show, Time for Tea. Check it out if you go!
I’ve never been to Utah, unless you count a layover at the airport on the way to California. It was snowing in Salt Lake City at the time.
However, I have seen some photos of the landscape there. Somehow, when I created this image, I was reminded of those beautiful rock formations on a clear hot sunny day. I imagined hiking through this fantasy landscape, and the name for this image came to me and stuck.
‘Utaopiah’ will be available for viewing (along with many other pieces) in person on May 4 & 5, from 10 to 5 p.m. during the Oxford Studio Tour, at my home gallery, which is Location #4 on the tour. It is the only one of my metal prints that actually has a frame (the frame is black) – something new I tried out this time!